I'm working up a ride report for this last weekend's (successful) assault on the C&O Canal Trail. I'm not posting the writeup until the pics are back from the shop. (Sorry, shot on a disposable cam. No insta-pics for you).
Words can't do justice to the beauty of the ride, or the amount of suffering incurred by riding 188 miles slow w/t 45 pounds of panniers. A snippet of conversation with my wife tonight will whet your appetite for the whole ride report, and give you some insight on it.
(W)ife: What's wrong. Are you sick?
(M)e: A little cold. But mostly tired.
W: Why are you still tired? It's Monday night.
M: It was a really long ride.
W: But you shouldn't be that tired.
M: I know. But it was really long. Eight or nine hours of pedaling each day. With a lot of extra weight. On dirt. With mud that slowed you down every time you hit it. And bumps. Lotsa bumps.
W: You shouldn't be that sore.
M: I'm just bruised all over. Hands. Feet. Ankles. Knees. My butt is bleeding.
W: What do you mean your butt is bleeding? How do you do something like that?
M: From sitting. For a long time. Going bump bump bump bump bump.
W: You mean it's abraded?
M: Yeah, basically. That's why it's bleeding.
M: I wouldn't make that up.
M: Right on the sit bone. Two big rub spots.
W: Did that hurt?
M: It was agonizing. Some of us were eating 5 Advils every couple hours.
W: Well, at least I guess you guys won't do that next year then, right?
M: Exactly. Stuff that doing it with camping gear and riding slow. We're talking about traveling light and doing it in one day, rather than doing it overnight.
W: What is wrong with you people?
W: Why can't you just ride 200 miles on the road or something?
M: That would be an order of magnitude easier.
W: So why don't you do it?
M: Where's the challenge in that?
W: You could do sightseeing. Look at the pretty sights.
M: Yeah, but it wouldn't be hard.
W: But it would be a lot of fun.
M: Sure. But hammering down the Canal on a fixed gear, close to 200 miles in two days, that's epic. Doing it in one day, that would be wicked epic, a 15 hour hammerfest.
W: [Shakes head sadly.]
W: [Walks off, muttering to self].
Hey, did I just say we're going to try it next year, fixed gear, one day?
I guess I did.
Hmmm. Must have been echoing something Jonathan suggested today. Suppose I'd better get that 15 tooth track cog for my fixie, huh? Maybe look into getting some padded gloves and gel chamois shorts.
You up for it boys?
Yeah, you're going to like the writeup.